U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., at a press conference one hour before the first scheduled meeting of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, called for the panel to conduct its business in open proceedings.
"The historic decisions made by this panel will help shape the future of our nation," said Buchanan, appearing with Senator Dean Heller and other co-sponsors of legislation demanding public proceedings. "The committee's deliberations should be done in full view of the American people since its decisions will have such a tremendous impact on the lives of Americans everywhere. "
Buchanan, who authored the "Sunshine Legislation" during the 2009 national health care debate, has introduced legislation in the House (H.R. 2796) requiring all "super committee" meetings to be held in open session. Buchanan's bill is identical to legislation introduced by Sen. Heller, R-Nev., in the Senate.
"My home state of Florida is known for having one of the toughest 'right-to-know' laws in America...guarding against back-room deals and secret negotiations by government officials," said Buchanan.